We recently asked our CEO Michael Haynes a few questions about what makes APMEX unique, why he thinks investing in Precious Metals in a good idea and what his favorite products are. We hope you find this interview useful and please let us know if you have any feedback or comments.
Tell us a little bit about APMEX and what makes APMEX unique
APMEX is one of the few and perhaps the only website for Gold, Silver and other Precious Metals where you receive all of the benefits of the largest selection of products, immediate price lock-in on order, all day and all night and all weekend buying, online ordering or access to helpful phone representatives and much more. APMEX has most products available for immediate delivery; just place an order and we are ready to go. APMEX also provides education and information on the markets and on the products.
Why do you think it is important to invest in precious metals
Precious Metals are perhaps more important for a portfolio today than at any time since the oil embargo of the 1970s. During this financial crisis, all investors have seen their investments and 401ks in stocks move together and generally down. Gold, Silver and Precious Metals have moved generally in the opposite direction from stocks. Balance, or diversification, in a portfolio is when some assets in a portfolio move up under certain circumstances and yet, under the same circumstances, some assets move down. The object of balance is to always have of one of the asset classes in the portfolio moving up. Gold, Silver and other Precious Metals have provided that balance in recent years in this financial crisis. Perhaps every investor should at least investigate the possibility of balance and diversification with Gold, Silver and other Precious Metals.
What are your top 3 precious metals products and why do you think they make a good investment
Asking about the “top 3” products in the APMEX offerings is like asking about your favorite son or daughter. However, in the most diplomatic fashion, here are three products that provide excellent opportunities for portfolio balance and diversification:
Gold: Gold is a currency without a country, and many believe it is the one true currency. All other paper currencies in the world are convertible into Gold and quoted even hourly across the world. It is hard to argue with this concept of Gold as a currency since Gold has been a storehouse of value since the Roman Empire and even before. Central Banks of the world are buying Gold to back up their own currency and using Gold to shore up their dollar holdings. If these countries through their Central Banks are diversifying away from the dollar, perhaps we Americans should take note. Personally, I prefer coins over bars because of the improved liquidity if I want to sell. Some like the American Gold Eagle, a patriotic pick and very liquid in the market, but the best priced one ounce Gold coin is perhaps the Australian Kangaroo. However, one of the very best opportunities is the MintDirect® tube of 20 American Gold Eagles. These are unsorted, unsearched tubes direct from the U.S. Mint, meaning that there could be very high grade — and therefore collectible — coins in that tube. This additional collector demand for any very high grade Gold Eagles in the tube has the potential to provide additional profit.
Silver: Here is an opportunity to diversify if you came into the market as a Gold buyer. Although no one knows for sure, Silver has probably been used as money as long as Gold and perhaps longer. There is a strong relationship between Gold and Silver prices that cannot be ignored. Silver demand in the industrial arena is moving away from photography and very strongly into solar panels. Solar slowed recently with the government investments slowing, but long term, solar demand should grow as the power needs grow and especially as smaller, more personal solar units become available. Who wouldn’t want the sun to lower your electric bill? For Silver, I also prefer coins to bars for the improved liquidity. The American Silver Eagle is the most popular followed by the Silver Maple Leaf. However, one of the best opportunities is the San Francisco American Silver Eagle in MintDirect® tubes of 20, and here’s why: you get the benefit of the unsorted, unsearched MintDirect® tubes which may contain very high grade specimens, but you also get the San Francisco Mint [MH1] (often called the “branch” mint) version that is also sought by collectors. This means you get Silver demand plus potential collector demand from both very high grade coin collectors and the San Francisco Mint collectors.
Platinum: Yes, there is a need for diversification even in Precious Metals, and here I like Platinum because of its industrial demand for automobile converters. If you believe in a recovering economy and more autos replacing old and new growth, then Platinum is one of the key Precious Metals for diversification. Again, I like the coins over bars, and the Australian Platypus (it is a strange animal for a coin) is one of the best buys in the marketplace.
Palladium: I know, I was asked for three, but how can we forget Palladium? Palladium is really improving as a more economical substitute for Platinum in industrial applications and has increased in value substantially as a result of these technological advances. Diversification into Palladium is a move that can provide more exposure to an uplifting economy, like Platinum, but takes advantage of the lower price point in the manufacturing sector. Unfortunately, coins are not as easily obtainable in Palladium but I really like the APMEX “Ballerina” 1 oz fully struck bar in the tamper evident packaging. This bar is made for APMEX by the giant producer Norilsk who mines the ore, refines it and makes this beautifully struck bar. You cannot get Palladium more direct from the mine to your hand than with the APMEX Palladium Ballerina. In my personal opinion, a well-balanced Precious Metal portfolio should have about 5 percent in Palladium.